4 Tips To Encourage Your Wife To (Re)Start Her Career

4-steps-to-encorage-ur-wifeGiven rising prices, it has become essential for families to have multiple bread winners today. It is therefore unsurprising that India’s Tier 1 and 2 towns are gradually seeing more women entering the workforce. Success stories of female entrepreneurs who have challenged the odds (several of them Dalits) is inspiring, to say the least. Housewives, who are realising that careers aren’t exclusively for men, are entering the workforce in droves; not only to earn an extra income, but also to explore their own identities.

For a wife who has never worked before marriage or who has been furloughed from her job for too long, entering the workplace can be a difficult transition though. At such a juncture, husbands have a critical role to play in finding tactful ways to motivate their better halves to return to that determined, professional frame of mind. Different women react differently to the idea of a career after years of being home; they could swing between excitement, curiosity, and anxiety, to full-blown stress. They may either be reluctant or itch to get back to work; not knowing where to start. Here are some approaches you can take to egg her in the right direction.

Evaluate Your Incomes and Expenses

To do this, choose a time of day when you won’t be disturbed. Remember to stay in control and disallow things to spiral out of hand – financial matters make tricky conversations, and must be dealt with a calm mind. Review your finances and calculate the family’s total income. Stack that against the household’s monthly expenses. School fees, stationery, medication, toys, utility bills, travelling expenses, memberships and insurance covers that require annual payments, must all be computed accordingly as well. Discuss how much monthly savings are adequate for post-retirement. Additionally, you will need to have some money handy for emergencies and surprise expenses as well – perhaps to fix a rammed car, or waterproof the house.

This exercise is sure to throw up figures that will either justify the cost of her staying home, against the benefits of her going to work.

Enable Her to Follow Her Dreams and Passions

Chances are that assessing household finances will give her immense clarity and determination about returning to work. Yet, the question of her easing into an industry of her choice is an important one in order to keep her motivated and convince her that this was in fact the right path to take. Help her recognise her abilities and talents and chart out a workable career plan. If she was previously employed, have her evaluate that stint. Did it make her feel gratified? If she was unhappy, could she chart out a new plan as per other skills and capabilities she may possess? Identify areas that accommodate her goals and meet your monetary needs.

Remember that motivating her in pursuing her dreams will not only be economically beneficial for the family, but fulfil her need for empowerment and alleviate her respect towards you as a husband too.

Determine How Much Time She Could Dedicate To Work

Depending on your wife’s responsibilities at home, discuss the job situations she could better handle. For instance, new mothers, housewives who have to care for the elderly and those who have stayed home for a very long time, would prefer flexible hours of work as well as limited commitment to the company. A part time job will negligibly disturb the normal schedule and provide more control over chores at home.

Starting a business or working full time are both wearisome, especially if your wife will have no additional help at housekeeping. A home business is generally a full-time, full-attention job and requires people to be extremely disciplined and dedicated to work. On the other hand, someone choosing full time service may require help as far as a housekeeper or children’s day-care/nanny is concerned. In such a case, you will have to account for that extra expenditure as well, unless there is someone else at home to buffer or share these responsibilities.

Be Supportive

Actions speak louder than words, and supporting her career means that you will also be a little more responsible for chores at home when she starts work. She may hesitate to work if she thinks that there will still be cooking, or a pile of dishes and a heap of clothes to clean when she gets home. If she has to continue waking up in the middle of the night to soothe the baby and wake up early and head to work the next morning, it is hardly a fair deal for her.

Between you two, try and brain-storm ways to make life easier in the new situation. List out the household activities. Everything she did alone will now have to be divided between the two of you, or delegated to a housekeeper/nanny. Encourage her by willing to rework your own schedule in order to make her work plans a success.

This is your most critical duty as a husband in this situation, to provide not only motivational, but also practical support to your wife.